Believe it or not, Jason Dufner is the 36-hole leader at the Wells Fargo Championship.
The Duf is 11-under par thanks to a 63 on Friday, his best round in a long, long time.
Dufner has done nothing but struggle the past few years.
He’s 188th in this season’s FedExCup standings, missing more than half his cuts and finishing in the top 50 just twice. He has just one top-10 in the past two years, a poor stretch that led him to make a myriad of changes.
He’s used four caddies this year.
He left his longtime swing coach, Chuck Cook, and started working with putting instructor Phil Kenyon.
“I think I’m on my fourth or fifth putter this year, I’m on my fourth or fifth driver, my fourth or fifth golf ball, fourth or fifth lob wedge,” Dufner said. “I’m trying to find stuff that’s going to work.”
He started seeing positive signs at the RBC Heritage and again at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Now he has a one-shot lead over a pair of dark-horses — Max Homa and Joel Dahmen. They’re both in a 10-under par. Homa equaled Dufner’s 63, Dahmen turned in a 66.
Quail Hollow was playing significantly easier on Friday and one player who did not take advantage was first round leader Rory McIlroy. A double-bogey, bogey finish left McIlroy with a one-under par 71 and he’s tied at six-under with Patrick Reed.
Pre-tournament favorites Justin Rose and defending champion Jason Day are in a five-under.